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Skeptiko Haven Rules

Welcome to Skeptiko Haven.

The simple rules here:
  1. We don’t discuss general materialist explanations for ‘psi’ and related phenomena. Anyone wanting to suggest materialism as the explanation for paranormal or spiritual phenomena is directed to the Skeptiko Forum.
  2. In particular, anyone suggesting or implying that it is ridiculous, inherently stupid, etc., to talk about non-materialist experiences and paradigms, especially in what the moderator considers to be a rude, abrupt or threatening fashion, will be instantly suspended. First suspension: 3 weeks; second: 3 months; third: indefinite. (Unfortunately, experience of the older forum makes this rule seem advisable.)
  3. It is ok to mention materialist explanations for specific cases. Example: “I think this medium might be a cold reader” is fine, but “I think all psi is fake” is not. (Detailed materialist ‘debunking’ is still better placed in the Skeptiko Forum.)



Both forums will continue side-by-side, and everyone is encouraged to move between them as desired.

Finally, an additional guideline:
This forum is a place where the proponent side of debates discussion is respected, and where more listening and (frankly) politeness is possible than on the other forum. Of course, it’s not easy to ban sarcasm! But it is suggested that contributors listen to one another calmly, and speak to each other with respect.
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Are scientists are closer to spirituality than many religionists?

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  • Are scientists are closer to spirituality than many religionists?

    Hi,

    As a bit of background, I have been following the podcasts on Skeptiko for a few months now and have been learning a bit more about the research on reported NDE's and Psi phenomena as a consequence. I have enjoyed both the arguments for and against about whether there is sufficient evidence to support these claims on a 'scientific' basis and I congratulate the participants on these forums for many an erudite debate...

    Just to state my current position, although I have come to a firm belief (over a long and convoluted journey) that consciousness is primary, thus in metaphysical terms, would now describe myself as 'an idealist', am not sure quite how NDE's and Psi phenomena fit into this world view in any meaningful way... certainly am not ruling them out!

    I recently came across this quote on another website:

    "Many scientific atheists devote their entire life studying the laws of nature and, to them, this may be their form of divine devotion whether they know it or not. In fact, because of this, I submit to you that a large percentage of such scientists are closer to spirituality than many religionists."

    Do you agree or disagree? What are your thoughts on the above quote?

    (I can post the link to the website if of interest)

  • #2
    Natural philosophy (science) used to be the business of religion and sometimes still is. The Vatican has its own astronomer and employs doctors. I'd argue that a scientist is not more spiritual by dint of their subject, they could lead the most dissolute lives outside their day job. Individual scientists may be seekers of truth without ideological blinkers, and consequently, spiritual. In the same way religion and spirituality may, or may not be, synonymous.

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    • #3
      My feel on the situation is this: Today, "The Scientist" is the current hero who seeks after Truth in the way that "The Mystic" was the hero who sought the Truth in bygone eras.

      Regardless of titles, the heroic quest for Truth is inherently spiritual. The issue is when we seek only to shore up our pre-existing beliefs, rather than be open to new insights. For instance, the apologist is someone who starts off with a determined point of arrival and massages logic or data to come to that predetermined conclusion. The materialist arguably does this as well - using his or her reality tunnel to channel data through so that it ends up supporting the assumptions he or she already adhered to. Similarly, the "True Believer" does the same.

      Spirituality admits doubt. As spiritual beings, we seek the Truth and sometimes get bludgeoned along the way as we find some of our hopes dashed. How we handle that experience - accepting it and growing, or explaining it away and stagnating - determines whether we grow.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Philemon View Post
        My feel on the situation is this: Today, "The Scientist" is the current hero who seeks after Truth in the way that "The Mystic" was the hero who sought the Truth in bygone eras.

        Regardless of titles, the heroic quest for Truth is inherently spiritual. The issue is when we seek only to shore up our pre-existing beliefs, rather than be open to new insights. For instance, the apologist is someone who starts off with a determined point of arrival and massages logic or data to come to that predetermined conclusion. The materialist arguably does this as well - using his or her reality tunnel to channel data through so that it ends up supporting the assumptions he or she already adhered to. Similarly, the "True Believer" does the same.

        Spirituality admits doubt. As spiritual beings, we seek the Truth and sometimes get bludgeoned along the way as we find some of our hopes dashed. How we handle that experience - accepting it and growing, or explaining it away and stagnating - determines whether we grow.
        An absolutely wonderful insight that I found very enlightening. Thanks for sharing Philemon.

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